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Welcome to the dynasty trading post, where optimizing strategy, roster construction, format, and player value oscillations are examined weekly in example and completed dynasty trades.
This week, we will analyze Deshaun Watson and replacement quarterbacks in the dynasty market.
*All trades are Superflex unless stated otherwise*
QB Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Theme of the Week: Profile Accumulation
Watson has been the ire of much dynasty (and fantasy) analysis this season. His short stint under center in Week 7 (five passes with an interception and then exit) is a killer from a points-per-game perspective. Without that game, Watson is within a point per game of Lamar Jackson on the season and in the top half of QB2 types in fantasy. That is an optimistic lens on Watson as his partial game counts (especially if starting him that week), but the prism is important. He has not been as back as the pitchforks and wrung hands would suggest. Collectively, we expected better this season. Watson is now out for the season with a broken bone in his shoulder, one he presumably played through in an epic comeback win over Baltimore, also with an injured ankle.
Watson's roller-coaster rise as an NFL and dynasty asset continues with his season-ending injury status. Once a rising phoenix and near Patrick Mahomes II in a young quarterback trajectory earlier in his career in Houston, Watson sagged down to near QB20 at his dynasty market bottom before rising back into the top 10 conversation. Watson is now in the QB15-18 range and (likely) headed south from there with the latest setback. For all dynasty teams, but especially non-contenders, Watson is an ideal buy exploration to poke the market on how depressed his value is. If negotiating with a contender, offering Geno Smith or Russell Wilson straight up can be accepted or with a small plus. Joshua Dobbs is not that far away in market value. If Matthew Stafford returns this week with a quality game, Stafford may be within reach of acquiring Watson. In-season dynasty trading is ripe with overreactions to a single game, injury, or "I must win THIS game" mentality. Exploiting such tendencies is a must in dynasty trading.
Here are a few key Watson trades this week as a buy exploration:
- Deshaun Watson, James Cook for Justin Fields, P.J. Walker
- Deshaun Watson for Geno Smith
- Deshaun Watson for Joshua Dobbs
- Deshaun Watson for Tyson Bagent, Alexander Mattison, 2024 2nd, 2024 3rd
- Deshaun Watson for Mac Jones, 2024 2nd, 2024 3rd
The theme is none of these deals contain elite pieces given for Watson. Justin Fields is the closest thing by the market, but Fields is not a lock to be a Week 1 starter next season and Chicago as a trove of draft capital. The Smith and Dobbs angles are the best to initially pursue, offering a tangible, with some upside, quarterback replacement for the rest of the season to the other franchise. Adding non-Round 1 picks to any deal is a no-brainer to acquire (or grease the wheels) to an executed Watson trade.
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